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The Complete Guide to Tokyo for Digital Nomads (& Japan Digital Nomad Visa)2024

Tokyo is a vibrant and exciting city that has become a popular destination for digital nomads, especially now that a new Japan visa for digital nomads has launched. With its fast-paced atmosphere, diverse cultural offerings, and world-class technology, it’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing to work and live in this bustling and fun metropolis.

Living in Japan kick-started my own travel writing career. It’s truly a wonderful city to make connections and meet the many inspiring and creative people who live there.

digital nomad guide to tokyo

In this guide, we will dive into everything a digital nomad needs to know about living in Tokyo and being a digital nomad in Japan. From finding long-term accommodation to navigating the city’s public transportation system and taking a look at the best neighborhoods.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a newcomer to Japan, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make your stay in Tokyo memorable.

Can I Be a Digital Nomad in Tokyo? 

Yes, you can be a digital nomad in Tokyo. The city has a thriving startup scene, many co-working spaces, and countless work-friendly cafes, making it a popular destination for digital nomads.

Though being a digital nomad in Japan is incredibly exciting (especially if you love food!), and there’s always something new to get up to, it is definitely one of the more expensive cities to be based in, so keep that in mind when planning your budget.

remote working in tokyo

Here are a few of the reasons remote workers have been flocking to Japan:

High-speed Internet and technology: Tokyo is a hub for technology and innovation, and digital nomads will find that the city offers fast and reliable internet connectivity, as well as a wide range of co-working spaces and technology-focused events.

Diverse and dynamic cultural offerings: Tokyo is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world, with endless museums, galleries, and temples to explore. From traditional Japanese art and architecture to intriguing contemporary art, there’s something for everyone in this city.

Accessible and efficient transportation: Tokyo’s public transportation system is incredibly efficient and convenient, making it easy for digital nomads to get around the city and beyond and explore its many offerings.

Affordable and varied housing options: While housing in Tokyo can be expensive, there are a variety of affordable and long-term housing options available for digital nomads, including shared apartments, co-living spaces, and budget-friendly hotels.

Thriving business and startup communities: Tokyo is a hub for businesses and startups, with a growing community of entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators. Digital nomads will find a wealth of networking and collaboration opportunities and a supportive and inspiring community of like-minded individuals.

Access to nature and travel: Tokyo has a number of famous parks and gardens that allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The fantastic transportation service gives you access to world-class hiking and skiing opportunities. Hiking Fuji or visiting Kyoto or Nara for a weekend is always an option.

There really are endless things to do in Tokyo.

If you are interested in discussing life in Japan further, whether digital nomad life in Japan is right for you, or want a personalised itinerary, get in touch for a consultation.

Does Tokyo Have a Digital Nomad Visa? Yes! As of 2024.

Japan recently announced that they will be launching a digital nomad visa to attract remote workers to the country in 2024, which is exciting news.

With South Korea’s newly launched visa, Japan has thrown its hat into the ring with its new six-month Japan digital nomad visa. Children and spouses can also accompany the applicant, which is a welcome addition for families.

The requirements to qualify for a Japan remote work visa include:

  • An annual income of at least 10 million Japanese Yen (approx $68,000)
  • Private health insurance (we love Safteywing)
  • You must be from one of 49 countries and regions with which Japan already has a visa waiver. This includes the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan.

The application will launch in early April 2024. Sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to know.

solis portable wifi

Tokyo Working Holiday Visa

Japan also has some longer alternatives such as their working holiday visa if you are under thirty or the Designated Activities Visa. This visa category allows foreigners to engage in various activities, including remote work, for up to one year with the possibility of an extension.

To be eligible, applicants must provide proof of sufficient financial resources for each of these options and a detailed plan of their intended activities during their stay.

Best Neighborhoods in Tokyo for Digital Nomads

Tokyo is big, unfathomably big, so picking the right neighbourhood to stay in Tokyo can be daunting. Each neighborhood in Tokyo offers a different experience and ultimately caters to different interests, making it important to choose the one that best fits your lifestyle, budget, and needs.

tokyo neighbourhoods

Despite being the biggest city in the world, Tokyo is incredibly clean and quiet outside of busy areas such as Shibuya. You’ll have a good chance of finding a quiet area to live in.

Because Tokyo is so well-connected by metro. If you would rather stay in a cheaper location, then basing yourself near a station on one of the major rail lines, such as the JR Yamanote Line or Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, means you will be able to reach any neighborhood quickly and easily.

I lived quite far out in the city’s suburbs but could still be in Shinjuku within half an hour, thanks to the express lines.

Here is an overview of some of the most popular neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo:


Known for its bustling streets and shopping, Shibuya is a popular district among young people and digital nomads. It is also a transportation hub, making it easy to get around the city, and there is plenty to do after work.


Roppongi is a cosmopolitan district known for its nightlife, international dining options, and upscale shopping. The Japan Film Festival is held there every year, and there are many fun cafes and gourmet restaurants to visit. Several embassies are located there, making it a hub for Westerners living in Japan.


This busy neighborhood serves as a commercial and administrative center but retains a lot of old Tokyo charm. It offers a diverse range of dining and entertainment options and plenty of co-working spaces and cafes.


Known for its upscale boutiques, coffee shops, and independent bookstores, Daikanyama is a stylish area that attracts a more laid-back and creative crowd of digital nomads.


A less touristy neighborhood that offers a more affordable cost of living compared to central Tokyo. It is known for its shopping street and unique food options.


Koenji is a trendy area known for its vintage shops, second-hand stores, and live music scene. It is popular among young people and budget-conscious digital nomads.


Setagaya is a residential area with a laid-back atmosphere. It offers affordable housing options and a quieter environment compared to the more central areas of Tokyo.


A popular neighborhood in the western suburbs of Tokyo, it offers affordable housing, a beautiful park, and a lively shopping and dining district.

How to Find Long-Term Accommodation in Tokyo?

tokyo accommodation

Decide on a budget and location: Determine how much you are willing to spend on housing and what neighborhoods you are interested in living in. Then, start your online research.

Online resources such as Airbnb and social media groups like the Tokyo Expat Network Accommodation and Roommate Finder on Facebook can be great for finding available housing options.

Definitely consider a shared apartment. Sharing an apartment in Tokyo with other professionals is normal due to high costs, so it can be an ideal way to live in the city on a budget.

It also offers an opportunity to meet new people and make friends. Companies such as Oakhouse and Sakura House are set up especially to offer short- to long-term shared housing.

You can also look at formal coliving spaces such as Tokyo Chapter in Roppongi and Outsite, designed for digital nomads and remote workers and often offer various benefits.

Tip: If you are looking for a Tokyo hotel or hostel while you are looking, here are some favourites.

Cost of Living in Tokyo

In Japan, the local currency is yen (¥) and is still a very cash-reliant society.

The cost of living in Tokyo is considered to be quite high. Housing costs can be particularly expensive, but the cost of food, transportation, and entertainment can also really add up.

However, there are ways to keep costs down, such as using public transportation instead of taxis, eating at local cafes, restaurants, and convenience stores instead of high-end establishments, and taking advantage of free or low-cost nature and cultural events.

Typically a meal out will cost you around $17 and rent will be approximately $2000 upwards. You should budget for a minimum of $3000 a month, if possible.

Cafes and Coworking Spaces in Tokyo

Cafes and coworking are the obvious go-to spots for cracking down on some work, and Tokyo has a lot of options. Almost all cafes provide free Wi-Fi, so there should not be any issues accessing the

Tokyo Cafes for Remote Workers

Wherever you are based in Tokyo, chain cafes like Doutor, Cafe de Crie, Streamer Cafe, and Tully’s will usually have a section of seats that have power outlets (usually built into the table). Many Starbucks don’t have outlets so check before you order!

cafes in tokyo

Here are some independent cafes that are also great options.

Anjin Lounge: Conveniently located in Shibuya, this classy and artsy cafe fits the character of the area perfectly. Nestled on the second floor of an equally elegant bookstore, you will undoubtedly be inspired while working in this space.

Paper Back Café: An ideal spot for any book lovers, this a cosy little café can be found in Kanda district in Tokyo. Adorably located in a jointly shared bookshop named ‘Books Tokyodo’ you will have nothing but peace and quiet when working here.

Roastery by Nozy Coffee (Harajuku): This café on Harajuku’s Cat Street offers great coffee, pleasant outdoor seating, free Wi-Fi, and a vibrant atmosphere. It serves high-quality single-origin coffee and has counters available with power outlets.

Trunk Hotel Lounge: A favourite work spot for many, the cafe in the Trunk Hotel lobby offers a calm and beautiful workspace with outlets and delicious coffee.

Tokyo Coworking Spaces

Tokyo is home to numerous coworking spaces, catering to a diverse range of professionals and creatives. Here are a few of the popular coworking spaces in Tokyo

Blink Community Coworking is a sleek, modern coworking space that offers a variety of work environments, from private rooms and traditional cubicle-style rooms to a rooftop terrace. It is aimed at building a friendly working atmosphere.

Work Court: A modern coworking space in bustling Shibuya, just a few minutes walk from the station. The space is designed to provide a professional and collaborative environment for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. They regularly host events and workshops to learn and network with other professionals.

Kant Common Cafe : Located in Roppongi, this shared office and co-working space designed for ‘mindful creatives’ has a cafe, bar, and music lounge on its ground floor.

WeWork: WeWork is a global coworking chain with multiple locations in Tokyo, offering a range of flexible membership options and amenities.

Working in Tokyo’s Internet cafe hotels

Internet cafe hotels in Tokyo offer a unique and convenient solution for digital nomads seeking affordable accommodations.

internet cafe
Booth Netcafe & Capsule

Two of the most popular and cost-effective options are Booth Netcafe & Capsule and Manboo Internet Café Hotel. They offer rooms or capsules for a specified period or overnight stays and provide a full PC setup for those unable to use their personal devices.

Although they are classified as budget hotels, they offer additional amenities such as showers, washing machines, and dryers, making them suitable for stays longer than a single night.

Although stays are limited to two weeks at a time, they are a valuable option for individuals searching for temporary housing while working in the city.

Tip: Karaoke chain rooms offer private rooms, all-you-can-drink, and free Wi-Fi. However, you will sit on a sofa rather than a desk.

Working at convenience stores in Tokyo

When you need Wi-Fi and a spot to work immediately, want to answer emails, or get some admin done, then the trusty convenience store can be a perfect option.

Almost all have free Wi-Fi, and the larger ones have seating areas with outlets.

convenience tore tokyo

Even though it may not be the most comfortable place for a digital nomad, you have a whole store that offers everything from hot and cold drinks to snacks and hot food on a budget to help you power through your ongoing tasks.

On top of that, they typically have a printer, so if you ever had to get something printed as part of your work, you can.

Tokyo’s biggest convenience store chains are Seven-Eleven, Lawsons, and Family Mart, which also has vegetarian-only stores.

Getting Around in Tokyo as a Digital Nomad

The public transportation system in Tokyo is efficient, convenient, and well-organized, making it a great option for digital nomads.

It can be a little daunting at first so having an app on your phone that will tell you exactly where you need to go is helpful, as will giving yourself more time than you think you need.

Some stations are huge and notorious for getting lost in, like Shibuya! You just need to follow the signs for transfers carefully, and if you are in doubt, you can ask for help.

tokyo metro

Tip: An app such as NaviTime will also help you with fare prices, which vary on different lines and routes.

You will want to pick up a travel card and top it up, even if you are staying for a month it will make your life significantly easier. You can even use it to pay for things at convenience stores!

Suica or Pasmo cards can be used on all Tokyo metro and train lines, as well as buses and taxis. You can purchase and recharge these cards at train station ticket vending machines, which don’t expire.

Touch it to the reader at the ticket gate to enter the station. Then, touch your card to the reader again when you board the train or bus to pay the fare.

Some of Tokyo’s most popular subway lines:

Tokyo Metro Ginza Line: The Tokyo Metro Ginza Line is a major subway line that runs through central Tokyo and serves popular neighborhoods such as Shibuya, Ginza, and Asakusa.

Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line: The Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line runs from Tokyo Station to Nakano, connecting major business and shopping districts in the city.

Toei Oedo Line: The Toei Oedo Line is a circular subway line that serves popular areas such as Roppongi, Shinjuku, and Akasaka.

Toei Asakusa Line: The Toei Asakusa Line connects central Tokyo to the popular tourist destination of Asakusa.

JR Yamanote Line: The JR Yamanote Line is a circular line that runs through central Tokyo and serves major train stations and shopping areas.

Do I Need to Learn Japanese to Live in Tokyo?

Generally speaking, you can absolutely get by in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka with just English. All signs are bilingual, so using the trains and metro will be fine.

You may have problems if you visit smaller towns and cities and don’t know any Japanese.

Learning basic phrases on an app such as Duolingo or Memrise will go a long way. You’ll also be amazed how much easier your life will be just learning to read katakana as these words are likely to be ‘imported’ words and will generally be recognizable to English speakers e.g hoteru (ホテル) for hotel.

This will get you further than you may expect and will be very handy for many situations.

We hope this guide to being a digital nomad in Tokyo was helpful to you! If you’re interested in learning about working remotely in other Asian countries, you might be interested in reading about the best cities in Southeast Asia or discover which Asia visa is right for you.

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